PEGASUS Magazine: Gulfstream Park – Now & Then
Hallandale Beach, FL – January 24, 2017 – From an empty field just minutes from the Atlantic coastline, Gulfstream Park was constructed in 1939. Despite a festive opening on February 1 of that year when a rush of 15,000 Thoroughbred racing fans overwhelmed the turnstiles, Gulfstream fell silent after only four days and Hallandale Beach returned to being a sleepy seaside community for the next five years. But the sounds of pounding hooves and cheering crowds returned on Dec. 1, 1944, and the “Track by the Sea” would prove to be one of the world’s most enduring racing venues. In 2016, Gulfstream Park celebrated 77 years of showcasing world class Thoroughbred racing while striking a delicate balance between maintain tradition and keeping up with the times – a formula for success that has made its future as bright as its past. Gulfstream Park’s history is linked to the legends of the Thoroughbred industry, dating back to the 1940s when the likes of Armed, Coaltown and Rampart ruled the handicap ranks. The 1950s were marked by the birth of the Florida Derby and the heroics of Nashua, Gen. Duke, Needles and Tim Tam. During the ensuring decades Gulfstream attracted Carry Back, Northern Dancer, Forego, Spectacular Bid, Alydar, Swale, Sunday Silence, Unbridled, A.P. Indy, Cigar, Skip Away, Barbaro and Big Brown, among countless other stars.
The country’s greatest horses, of course, were trained and ridden by the best in the business. The Gulfstream winner’s circle has been graced on so many occasions by trainers Jimmy Jones, Woody Stephens, Arnold Winick, Allen Jerkens, Bill Mott, Shug McGaughey, Nick Zito and Todd Pletcher, as well as jockeys Bill Shoemaker, Eddie Arcaro, Bill Hartack, Don Brumfield Walter Blum, Angel Cordero, Jerry Bailey and John Velazquez. The lists of prominent trainers and jockeys who have bolstered Gulfstream’s reputation through the years go on and on. While presenting world-class racing, Gulfstream has prospered through the dedication and innovation of the track managements of the Donn Family and its current chairman, Frank Stronach. Much has changed at Gulfstream in 77 years. Transformed into an ever-expanding, diverse entertainment complex, Gulfstream Park is well positioned for continued success well into the future while paying tribute to its glorious past.
Gulfstream Park, 1950’s
The Gulfstream Grandstand, early 1960’s
A day at the races at Gulfstream Park, 1950’s
Taping of The Jackie Gleason Show at Gulfstream Park, 1966
Gulfstream Park, 2016